State v. Ford, 245 N.C. App. 510 (Feb. 16, 2016)

In this voluntary manslaughter case, where the defendant’s pit bull attacked and killed the victim, the trial court did not err by admitting as evidence screenshots from the defendant’s webpage over the defendant’s claim that the evidence was not properly authenticated. The State presented substantial evidence that the website was actually maintained by the defendant. Specifically, a detective found the MySpace page in question with the name “Flexugod/7.” The page contained photos of the defendant and of the dog allegedly involved in the incident. Additionally, the detective found a certificate awarded to the defendant on which the defendant is referred to as “Flex.” He also found a link to a YouTube video depicting the defendant’s dog. This evidence was sufficient to support a prima facie showing that the MySpace page was the defendant’s webpage. It noted: “While tracking the webpage directly to defendant through an appropriate electronic footprint or link would provide some technological evidence, such evidence is not required in a case such as this, where strong circumstantial evidence exists that this webpage and its unique content belong to defendant.”

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